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RESPONSIBILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OF THE ADVISORY BOARD ON RADIATION AND WORKER HEALTH

Ziemer, Paul L.*

doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000264593.05229.d0
Background Information: Paper
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As noted in the introductory editorial by Moeller and Toohey, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) was passed by the U.S. Congress in October 2000 and became effective on 31 July 2001. The Act provides a lump-sum compensation of $150,000 to workers who contracted certain diseases due to exposures to beryllium, silica, or radiation while working for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), its contractors, or subcontractors, in the nuclear weapons industry. The Secretaries of DOE, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) share responsibilities for administering this program. In accordance with the provisions of EEOICPA, the President, in October 2001, appointed an Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health. The work of the Board, which began in January 2002, is conducted with staff support provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH is responsible for establishing scientific guidelines for determining whether a worker’s cancer is “at least as likely as not” related to occupational exposure to radiation (probability of causation) and developing methods to estimate worker exposure to radiation (dose reconstruction). During its first 5 years of operation, the Board has provided substantial input on the rulemaking activities of NIOSH. It also is establishing methodologies for auditing the validity and quality of the dose estimates. The Board expects to sample and examine approximately 2–3% of the completed dose reconstructions. Random audits of approximately 1% of these are now underway.

* Purdue University, School of Health Sciences, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

For correspondence contact the author at the above address, or email at pl.ziemer@comcast.net.

(Manuscript accepted 8 March 2007)

©2008Health Physics Society